The coalition of the 2017/2018 set of Niger-Delta amnesty students in some universities across the Niger Delta region have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over their unpaid allowances.
The petition was copied to the senate president, speaker of the house of representatives, deputy senate president, senate and house committees on Niger Delta affairs, and the minister of Niger Delta affairs.
The Amnesty students said the petition became necessary to inform the president of the none payment of their monthly stipends and other benefits due to them, which they added is against the terms of the sponsorship agreement under the amnesty programme.
The unpaid stipends include in-training monthly allowance of N70,000 and N40,000 textbook expenses per session for each student.
They said the tenure of Charles Dokubo, who was appointed as head of the amnesty office about a month after their admission, kept giving excuses to delay payments, endangering their studies.
“These orchestrated anti-people shenanigans were sustained all through his era with all manners of malicious, tortuous, ill-conceived and vindictive investigations and screenings without discovering any scintilla of illegality in our deployment! In spite of all, he bluntly refused to direct that our stipends be released to us,” the petition read.
“The agreement of the Federal Government of Nigeria with the said Amnesty beneficiaries includes, but not limited to the following: beneficiaries are to be dispatched to various universities, tuition fees of beneficiaries are to be paid by the Amnesty office under the auspices of the Federal Government of Nigeria; and beneficiaries are to receive in-training allowance of N70,000 each per month and N40,000 each per session for textbook expenses.”
The petitioners asked Buhari to direct payment of all outstanding allowances.
They added that “anything contrary will frustrate us out of this laudable programme to the detriment of our desire for a better future”.
“We have no doubt that this educational pursuit is a better alternative to the armed struggle we had been plunged into in the past by similar frustrations being unfortunately resuscitated and nourished daily while Dokubo held sway in the office,” they said
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